Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: achilles tendonitis

You're a runner and you've had to deal with foot and knee injuries. A new study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine provides more evidence running lightly can reduce injuries.

The effects of running lightly have been studied before. In 2016, I wrote a blog about a study of light footed women runners done at Harvard. In this study women who ran more lightly never got injured.

The new study measured the landing impact of 320 novice runners.Half the runners were told to run softer while the other half were not. After 12 months, those who learned to run softer had a 62 percent decrease in injuries than the runners who made no change.

What Does It Take to Run Softer

  • Think about running more softly and quietly when you're running; another study showed that runners who were told to run softly and quietly could reduce their foot impact.
  • Land on your mid or forefoot instead of the heel (Video on low impact running).
  • Use quick foot strikes and a shorter stride.
  • Try Chi Running which takes some of its principles from Tai Chi. You can also purchase the app of the same name.

In addition to running softer there are many other things you can do to reduce your chances of developing foot injuries such as Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.

  • Increase your mileage slowly. Most experts recommend only a 10% increase each week.

  • Always stretch before you run. We recommend Dynamic Warm-ups for the best results. Tight calf muscles often play a huge role in developing heel pain and Achilles tendonitis. Here is what we recommend for patients who already have these conditions with tight calf muscles.

  • Make sure your shoes fit properly and aren't worn out.

  • Running can affect your hips, back, knees, and feet. Don't ignore pain. It's a signal that something is amiss.

More information on pain free running:
8 Hacks To Prevent Running Injuries this Summer
4 Lacing Hacks To Reduce Painful Running Problems
5 Tips to Keep Runner's Feet Healthy and Strong

If you're a runner experiencing hip, back, knee or foot pain, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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By Dr. Rion Berg
May 11, 2018
Category: Heel pain

Just about this time of year my office starts to fill up with patients who decide to take up running to get in shape, lose weight, or challenge themselves by racing. Although I love taking care of people, I'd rather make sure they don't get injured in the first place.

Running is definitely an injury-prone sport. Fortunately there are lots of things you can do to prevent running injuries this summer. Here are 8 sure fire hacks that will greatly reduce your risk of a running injury or foot problem like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, or an ingrown toenail.

Start Slowly

If you're new to running or you've run in the past but haven't for a while, it's important to start slowly. Even if you lay off running for a few weeks, research shows the bodies' tolerance diminishes during that short time. Instead of returning to your usual five miles a day, take it easy.

Start off running for 10-15 minutes at a time and increase by 10% a week. That way your chance of a foot injury is far less.

Stop Running If Your Feet Hurt
Although it should go without saying, it always amazes me how many people just assume that pain is a good thing. I think it comes from that saying "no pain, no gain". When it comes to foot pain if you feel pain, you won't gain. You'll only lose and end up with an injury. So stop running when your feet or any part of your body starts to hurt.

Make Sure Your Shoes Fit and Aren't Worn Out

Wear the Right Socks

Although you won't get heel pain or Achilles tendonitis from wearing cotton socks you will get some nasty blisters. Avoid cotton and buy socks made out of synthetic materials that wick away moisture.

Do Proper Stretching

We've all heard that we need to stretch before we run, but most of us don't do it for long enough or correctly. A simple calf stretch done for a minute or less is usually not enough for most people to really make much difference. If you are prone to heel pain or Achilles tendonitis, tight calf muscles are frequently part of the problem. I recommend my patients who already have heel pain or are prone to it use an Achilles splint for 30 minutes a day to stretch their calves.

Dynamic warm-ups are also important to get your body ready for running. Some evidence shows that doing a static stretch right before running can inhibit performance.
 

Avoid High Heels

Frequent wear of high heels leads to shortened calf muscles. Tight calf muscles are often a big factor in bringing on plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. If you plan to wear high heels and also run, try to avoid going directly from heels to running.

Change Up Your Exercise

Rather than run every day, go swimming, do yoga, or another aerobic activity. Changing up your exercise will make you less prone to injury. Also, a strong core can help you recover more easily after tripping on a rock or other object in the road.

Eat A Healthy Diet

Staying hydrated and eating a healthy diet are also important for preventing injuries. You're less likely to lose steam and turn an ankle. Also, women who are too thin or are post-menopausal are at greater risk for stress fractures.

If you feel pain while running, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

March Madness is upon us! If your children are dreaming about playing college basketball and they're either on a middle school or high school team you should know that competitive basketball is very hard on the feet and ankles. Although you can't prevent all their foot and ankle problems, here are five tips to give them a fighting chance of leaving the court injury-free.

  • Suggest they play on an indoor court whenever possible. Wood floors provide the most shock absorption while concrete provides the least.

  • Purchase new basketball specific shoes before the bottom of the shoe becomes smooth. For kids who play on a team (5 days a week of practice), replace their basketball shoes every two to three months.

  • If your child has flat feet or another biomechanical foot problem, custom orthotics will help prevent heel pain, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis.

  • Proper warm-ups are essential for injury prevention. Both stretching exercises and gradual warm-ups such as dynamic warm-ups are recommended. In addition, doing calf stretches are important to prevent the foot problems mentioned above.

  • Purchase socks made of materials that do not absorb sweat. Avoid cotton and purchase synthetic materials that wick away moisture to prevent blisters.

Of course if your child does sustain an injury, first aid should include rest, ice, compression, and elevation of the injured foot or ankle. Bring them in to see your podiatrist as soon as possible so they can be properly evaluated and treated.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

Julia Hawkins was 101 when she set a world record for the 100 meter dash, only a year after she started running. And she's not alone. Each year hundreds of men and women are taking to running later in life. And many of them are competing in marathons. Over half of the people competing in the New York Marathon are over 40. And their running times are getting better.

As a Seattle podiatrist who sees many patients with Type II diabetes I'm thrilled to see so much enthusiasm for exercise in older adults.

Running can help you prevent and manage many chronic illnesses, make you sharper, and give you a greater sense of wellbeing. Although running isn't for everyone and you should certainly see your doctor before giving it a try, it can be a tremendous way to live well into your later years.

Runners over 50 suffer from the same kind of foot problems as younger people including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and ankle sprains. One difference is older adults take longer to recover from these injuries than their younger counterparts.

Recommendations for older runners include:

  • Supplement running with strength and flexibility exercises. Check out the book by Ruth Bader Ginsburg's workout coach for some exercises you can do in the gym or at home.

  • Always warm-up before your run. Although warm-ups are important for all runners, they are a must for older runners. I recommend dynamic warm-ups for runners.

  • Purchase appropriate running shoes. Check out my previous blog "How to Buy the Best Running Shoes".

  • Buy running shoes with more cushioning if you've lost fat from the pads of your feet, a common problem as we age.

  • Wear inserts or get custom orthotics made by a podiatrist particularly if you have flat feet or another biomechanical problem.

  • Eating an anti-inflammatory diet may help with age-related arthritis pain in the feet, knees, and hips.

  • Take Vitamin D and eat calcium rich foods to prevent stress fractures. As we age we lose bone mass and are more prone to bone-related health problems.

More information:
5 Tips to Keep Runner's Feet Healthy and Strong
7 Hacks to Prevent Toenail Fungus in Runners
Don't Let Heel Pain Ruin Your Morning Run

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners". In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

 

By Dr. Rion Berg
October 27, 2017
Category: Heel pain

Do you have tight calf muscles and experience foot pain? Tight calf muscles are not uncommon in our culture. Because most of us sit all day long our calves tighten up. Women who wear high heels also end up with this condition.

When the calf muscles are too tight you can't move the foot forward properly.  Instead of the force dissipating when you walk or run, the force goes into the foot resulting in Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis.

Here are solutions for beating tight calf muscles.

Stretching
As soon as I identify tight calf muscles in a patient I start them on a program of appropriate stretching.  Stretching exercises are easily done at home. The problem is that they need to be done for up to thirty minutes a day.  To help you with that a splint can be worn while you're watching TV or reading a book and easily get that thirty minutes of stretching done to reduce the tightness of your calf muscle.

Heel Lift
A heel lift can also be used under the sole of your shoe to raise the heel up which relaxes the calf muscle.

Control the Foot Mechanics
Controlling your foot mechanics is another part of the puzzle that must be resolved to prevent tight calf muscles. Custom orthotics prevent pronation and stops the need for the calf to tighten.

Other Measures
If the inflammation is too great other measures include:

  • icing

  • heat

  • anti-inflammatory medication

  • referral to physical therapy

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Coming soon.